Hifiman Sundara (HE400i upgraded, around $500)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Sep 16, 2017.
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  1. Jodet
    Depends a lot of what amp you're running them with. I might say the Clear has more relaxed treble... by a hair.

    The soundstage on the clear is nice, solid, more traditional. It's not going to be as open and spacious as the HD800, nothing is. I enjoy them both.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  2. Hifiearspeakers
    Thank you for your impressions. That really helps.
  3. blargman
    I'm quite confused that people would be upset with a metal frame. The plastic frame on the HE-400i is about as cheap and crappy as it gets. The arms have broken on me twice. I'll be interested to see a proper review of these, if it's an upgrade HE-400i, it sounds like a nice headphone. If it doesn't have the same sub-bass rolloff. The price seems fair, I don't like that they cheapened the price the HE-400i, it seems they lowered the build quality too. Or they are always this bad. lol, first HF headphone.
  4. Brahmsian
    The Sundara keeps being compared to the 560 instead of the 400i by HifiMan. "The 560 I like more when powered really well." If that's the case, I see no reason to consider the Sundara. I'll stick with my 560.

    Now if the Sundara sounds like the 560 as opposed to the 400i, then it will be more on the analytical side. On the other hand, it will sound a lot more dynamic than the 400i, which, though more euphonic and easy to listen to for long periods, can sound a little dull when compared to the 560, which is more alive. But if you don't like treble then you might have a problem.

    "A little more vigorous in the bottom end than the 560." Well that means it has A LOT more bass than the 400i. The bass on the 560 is phenomenal, but it's not bass-head bass.

    I guess you're going to have to wait for the Sundara impressions to start flowing but if you're considering the Elex you might as well cross out the Clears. Elex vs Aeon.
  5. mtoc
    it says 80% thinner than the he400i, then, we are curious about

    how thin is the he400i? Stax is around 1 um. The coil in the planar had to be mounted on the diaphragm itself, the coil has thickness, so
    Brahmsian likes this.
  6. Brahmsian
    The Sundara is now up and for sale at the Hifiman store.

    Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 7.40.40 PM.png
    trellus likes this.
  7. Hifiearspeakers
    About time! Now we need someone to buy them and post some inpressions!
    Nickapalooza86 likes this.
  8. s2kPanda
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  9. phthora
    From the review, it seems the Sundara has exactly the sort of sound that most people expected, as well as occupying a place in the line-up between the 560 and 400i.

    I expect that the hype will eventually proclaim them better than the 560 and the backlash to that hype will later proclaim them a ruinous departure from the 400i, but for the time being, it's nice to see a realistic, down-to-earth review. Here's hoping more follow.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    George Taylor likes this.
  10. s2kPanda
    Just wait for Tyll's review.
  11. Brahmsian
    The first line of the review: "The forums have been buzzing with wonder and excitement over the new Hifiman Sundara planar magnetic headphones." But have the forums really been buzzing about the Sundara? Not that I can tell.

    The metal band is no longer squarish but more of an arc. Looks better, but one of the things I love about the HE560 is that, to adjust the comfort/clamping force, I can bend the metal band in the middle, and if I bend it too much I can always bend it back so that it hardly looks like it was tampered with. Wonder if it'll be the same with the new band. I'm sure it will bend, but will it bend back into place perfectly?

    Sound-wise, it's nice that the Sundara has a better low end than the 400i, though according to the reviewer still not as good as the 560. But he also describes it as a thick-sounding headphone, both in the low and mid range. That doesn't sound like the 560 to me, to which Hifiman had been comparing the Sundara.

    Soundstage looks like a big improvement over the 400i: "I was impressed by the sense of depth in the Hifiman Sundara. It is a bigger sense of depth than the 400i and felt on par with the HE-560. Additionally, the sense of width was really nice and expansive."

    Bottom line according to the review: "The Hifiman Sundara planar magnetic headphones are certainly an upgrade from the HE-400i. And as a standalone headphone, there are some things I like, some things I don’t. I do think the HE-560 is better for most purposes, although it is more difficult to drive. However if you listen to music without drums, you may just prefer the thickness of the Hifiman Sundara."

    Because the 560 came down in price to what the Sundara costs, I think most people will expect the Sundara to be an improvement on the 560. But I guess if it improves on the 400i, that should be good enough, especially once the 560 goes out of stock.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  12. phthora
    Sorry, that must have been my wonder that was buzzing. I'll switch it to airplane mode.

    That puts me off of these a bit. One of my chief complaints about the 400i is the thickness in the bass (that and the weak sub-bass). I hope what he means is that the lows and mids and better balanced with the treble, and that there is a nice Audeze kind of lushness to the cans. Maybe that is too much to ask for.
  13. s2kPanda
    I'd take this review with a grain of salt. Major-hifi is not a reputable source of info when it comes to quality testing of headphones. Like I said in my other post, wait for Tyll's review. Once that's out we'll know a definitive answer as he plans to compare these to the LCD2C which have gotten quite the appreciation across multiple forums.
  14. Nickapalooza86

    what makes this review not reputable, just don't understand that way of thinking. Both Tyll and this reviewer have different ears than you. Frankly I think this review gives you as much useful information as any review can. After that it is just how they sound to you.
    jim723 likes this.
  15. s2kPanda
    He describes frequencies without any objective data. Everything being said is subjective. The "towering boost at 11khz", if its like the KZ ZS6 it'll pierce your ears and make you cry, yet he describes them as airy, which is more related to how extended soundstage of the high frequencies are, piercing vocals or sibilance aren't very airy in my opinion and tend to be very very sharp and they hurt.
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